Guest Commentary: A Letter from an Innocent Man Wrongly Incarcerated


By Tevarez Lopez

Greetings and blessings.

First and foremost I hope that this supplication for help, succor, grace and mercy has found you in the best of spirits.

My name is Tevarez Richard Lopez but I’m addressed by the jail I’ve been sitting in for five years now as inmate 129395. It has been nearly two years since SB NO. 1437 has become constitutional law. It has also been that duration that I’ve patiently waited for the courts to recognize the law, acknowledge it, and grant me my freedom in regards to the SB NO. 1437 applying to my charges.

Yes, I am certain that this law applies to my circumstances without any doubts whatsoever.

There is no grey area. SB NO. 1437 has authored and voted in specially for people in the exact shoes I’m in. The reason why I’m still on the wrong side of the war and stuck in a cell for no less than 20 hours a day is far from an enigma and it doesn’t take any algorithms to get to the raw and uncut facts of this injustice. Justice is being denied by the very people who were sworn in to be stewards of the law and duty-bound to uphold the law and never show any partiality or prejudices. The type of immunity that court officials have, specifically Judges and prosecutors; has allowed many, but not all to exercise perversity without any consequences causing innocent people to do lengthy prison terms.

My unfortunate circumstances are playing out the way they are, due to the tyrannical oppressors who first opposed SB NO. 1437 passing into law and now that it is in fact a Ca. State law they ignore based on their own personal and/or political views which will ultimately cause innocent people to get life sentences who should never have been forced to go to trial behind trumped-up allegations based on speculated calumnies. Whether the SB NO. 1437 is being ignored for the benefit of prosecutors, justices, or the Ca. Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s political stepping stones or just simply behind bigotry it’s still a bird of the same feather, a mockery to the justice system. Speculation does not constitute evidence, so how is it that my life is in peril behind spurious assumptions? (A rhetorical question of course)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has opposed my petitions along with all the others that were granted reviews by the appellate courts based mainly on speculations. He stated that common prudence would have a suspicion that I acted with reckless indifference to human life and also was a major participant in the underlying felony that resulted in a death. That statement alone is, for a lack of better words “SPECULATION” at best.

At an oral argument in People v. McLaurin (CA. App. 2020 July 6) Xavier Becerra AG failed to present any evidence as to why McLaurin should not be freed based on SB NO. 1437. The appellate court judges granted McLaurin his freedom after disagreeing with the AG, stating that his argument was based on speculation. If my case was brought into the light, and I had a fair and impartial decision-maker I’d be at home with my children just as the SB NO. 1437 says I should be. Instead, I’m taking baby steps like an ox on its way to get slaughtered.

It’s obvious that Xavier’s speculation was converted into evidence in regards to my case in the 3rd Appellate Districts’ eyes. When you compare my case to the McLaurin ruling it can’t get any clearer that my freedom should be granted at my 995 hearing. The 3rd Appellate gave my public defender the option to have an oral argument, but unfortunately, he refused to argue my innocence. In regards to the rulings that have been given on the petitions filed on my behalf, I’ve been convinced that in the 3rd

Appellate District and EDCO courts the law is merely words on paper that are molded and shaped at willful the purpose of being detrimental or showing, depending on whether you’re on the privileged yacht or the makeshift raft.

There is a concise version of what has occurred in my case since the SB NO. 1437 was signed into law and all decisions made throughout my case have been negligent.

A 995 motion was filed in the South Lake Tahoe ECDO courts in order to get my charges dismissed based on SB NO. 1437. The stand-in Judge denied it. Granting only 10 minutes to present our argument because there was a possible snowstorm and he didn’t want to be stuck in Tahoe. He also admitted that he didn’t read the prelim transcripts or the motions because they were quite extensive and that he wasn’t going to rule against the EDCO court’s stance in regards to the SB NO. 1437. This judge’s negligent and arbitrary actions have been fully ignored.

At this hearing, the prosecutor Gomez submitted a falsified document and on top of being exposed, he quickly withdrew it attempting to change the subject. All the information and facts in this letter can be easily corroborated by reading the court transcripts I have on file.

Next, a petition was filed to the 3rd Appellate District and it was denied based on the AG’s speculation and They expressed no option as to the constitutionality of SB NO.1437. The petition was then filed in the Supreme Court and the review was granted. The Supreme Court transferred it back to the third appellate district with directions to vacate its order denying the petition for bright or pro-habitation and to issue an order to showcase directing the respondent court to show cause why relief should not be granted based on petitioners claims that:

  1. SB NO. 1437 is not an unconstitutional amendment of Prop. 7 and or Prop. 115
  2. The evidence at the prelim hearing was insufficient to hold me to answer for

The third followed the order by vacating the ruling on 10/23/19 And then denied my petition once again on 7/15/20. Again I re-filed back to the Supreme Court and they simply denied to review the petition.

What happened to the fair and impartial ruling that was supposed to take place that I just patiently sat in a cell 20 plus hours a day for nearly two years trusting in the law?

Once again was understood must be explained. During this hiatus, I had a hearing in South Lake Tahoe Superior Court and the presiding judge Kingsbury advised both prosecutors Gomez and Alexander to dismiss the murder charge in regards to the SB NO. 1437to which Kingsbury made clear as can be stating that “we can all read the tea leaves and we KNOW what the end result will be taking into consideration all the people who have already been freed SINCE SB NO. 1437 became law” Judge Kingsbury knows my case and all the details and specifics. She was present for my 5-day prelim hearing and she’s fully familiar with all the testimonies, evidence, and speculations that are involved with the case. There is no possible way Judge Kingsbury would have been the prosecutor that advised to dismiss the 137 charges unless she was more than confident that SB NO.1437 applied to my circumstances.

As it stands my Co-defendants and I are lined up like oxen on the way to be slaughtered. This is reality. Without a doubt, if nobody is willing to speak up for us and shed light on what is happening in the dark we will inevitably become statistics of the system of racial injustice. Far too often people like myself and my Co-defendants who legally should be free and at home with our families end up fighting the fight for decades before someone who has a voice is willing to use their podium and demand the scales of justice be collaborated. We need a voice here and now before it’s too late! We can’t breathe!

SB number 1437 demands that the courts release us from this chokehold and undue our fetters.

There are dozens upon dozens of examples of people being set free because of SB NO. 1437. And those cases can easily be used as a measure or ruler that would simply corroborate that SB NO. 1437 applies without any doubt whatsoever to my case. The Superior and Appellate courts are granting people their freedom almost daily for nearly two years now thanks to the SB NO. 1437, but because I’m in a County and district that refuses to abide by the law, SB you know. 1437 equals little more than false hopes and shattered hearts.

So here I sit, inmate number 129395 praying for a miracle that the law is followed and it doesn’t continue to be ignored.

I thanked God when SB number 1437 was officially a law now I’m praying that the system will not be allowed to act as if SB1437 doesn’t exist I’m just an ant on a blade of grass trying desperately to figure out a way to get out of the path of the lawnmower before it’s too late. Will I forever scream for help into the abyss? Into justices’ ears, who has selective hearing?

Justice delayed is justice denied.


The Innocent Cell Dweller 129395 SOS

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About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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